The ASB Classic has lost one of its marquee acts, with news that Canadian star Bianca Andreescu has withdrawn from the Auckland tournament due to injury.
Andreescu has succumbed to ongoing knee issues and won't return in January. She'll concede her top seed to American Serena Williams.
The 19-year-old thrilled Kiwi tennis fans earlier this year, when she reached the final in her first visit to New Zealand.
She then carried that momentum throughout the year to win titles at Cincinatti, Indian Wells and her home tournament, the Rogers Cup in Toronto, before she stunned Williams to claim the US Open.
Andreescu has been the year's form player, holding a staggering 89 percent win record - the best of any player on the WTA Tour.
"I'm super disappointed about it," she said in a video posted on the ASB Classic Twitter. "But I spoke to my team and I really have to do what's best for my knee right now.
"I've had so many amazing memories there so hopefully I can go and create more there in 2021."